I’ve already been to London in 2011, so I already visited the super-touristic attractions like the Big Ben, the Buckingham Palace or the Tower Bridge. This time, I wanted to explore different districts, places recommended by bloggers and friends, restaurants, cafés and vintage stores. Of course, we also did the obligatory culture part in form of a museum visit at the Tate Modern Art. So that’s what we did. The 4 days that we spent in London and Brighton were untypically sunny and (quite) warm. We also met some friends from home there and grabbed a beer together and we checked out Londons nightlife, went to the club XOYO, which wasn’t as good as we expected. Probably because we went out on a Monday… to a fresher’s party.
Concerning the prices in restaurants, most people say that London is very expensive. It is, but there are also affordable restaurants, sometimes it was even cheaper than at home (for example at McDonald’s). The first day we went to Neal’s Yard, an alley with a cute little square near the tube station Covent Garden. It is famous for its colorful houses and at the square are some healthy food spots and cafés. We had lunch there at 26 Grains. I tried the delicious coconut chickpea stew with kale, aubergine pickles and brown rice. Afterwards we walked towards Leicester Square and took a break at Five Guys, that famous burger restaurant where you get free peanuts and awesome burgers. We went for a walk in Notting Hill, a nice district with beautiful houses in pastel colors and had a typical english afternoon tea at Le Pain Quotidian with scones, whipped cream and jam. In the evening we went to Chinatown and had fried noodles for dinner accompanied by a chinese tea flatrate, which costs us about 50 cents per person. It’s a good sign, when the restaurant is is filled with local – in this case chinese – people. At the Camden Market, near tube station Camden Town, you can buy different stuff like clothing and home accessories and in the yard were a bunch of food trucks that offered korean burritos, mac n cheese in different styles, curries, vietnamese burgers or steaks and fries. In London are also many bangladeshi and indish people, that’s why there exists also a Banglatown. Banglatown is famous for its many curry houses and every restaurant printed out big posters of tripadvisors recommendations like “best curry in town” or “best restaurant in Banglatown” – I think that every curry house there is quite delicious, we also tried an indish restaurant and tasted a good and warming curry. We also tried the restaurant chain The Breakfast Club where you get eggs benedict or a traditional english breakfast with sausages, beans and eggs – a nice spot to check out.
In Shoreditch you find many different vintage stores next to each other. You get there clothing, bags and shoes for an affordable price and quite good quality. Our favorite vintage-spot was the Blitz. There, they also upcycle old shirts to cropped ones and beautify pullovers.
As Harry Potter freaks we also did a guided Harry Potter Tour through Londons centre. We saw places were the film was shot, for example the entrance to the Ministry of Magic through the red telephone box. We went to King’s Cross, where Harry entered the platform 9 3/4 to the Hogwarts Express. Another tour I recommend is the free Graffiti Tour through Shoreditch and Whitechapel. It was interesting because the guide was part of the graffiti and street art scene and told us about the rules, that are important when starting a new artwork and showed us some nice grafittis among others of Banksy.
Brighton is a nice destination for a one-day-trip from London. A 1,5h bus ride takes you to the small city at the coast with its famous Pier. At the Pier we tried a big portion fish n chips. In my opinion way too fatty, but I always have to try the typical local food. The Pier is like a small amusement park with auto scooters, roller coasters and candy stalls. Our spot for the afternoon tea was at The Lanes, the historic quarter with picturesque alleys,in a cute little café called Sugardough with homemade cakes and a large choice of tea.
From London & Brighton with love,